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19 September 2023

A phone screen showing the app, with someone's finger pointing.A collaboration between the Massachusetts Disabled Persons Protection Commission, University of Rhode Island, and consultants with disability have led to the creation of an app named “R3: Recognise, Report and Respond.” This free app is designed to educate people with intellectual and cognitive disability on recognising and reporting abuse.

The app acknowledges the increasing vulnerability of people with disability to various kinds of abuse. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, people with disability are nearly four times more likely to be victims of violence. The app uses a combination of texts, images, videos and interactive activities to teach users about different types of abuse, such as sexual, verbal, physical, financial and neglect. It also offers multiple ways to report abuse, including a direct hotline, links to relevant websites and assistance from trusted individuals.

The project involved co-design with consultants who have disability, ensuring the app’s effectiveness and relevance. This collaboration transformed the initial focus from reporting abuse to creating an educational tool, aligning with training programs developed by the protection commission. The developers aimed to make the app inclusive and accessible to a diverse range of disabilities.

The app is available through Apple and Amazon app stores for smartphones and tablets.

For more information, please refer to the University of Rhode Island’s article on the abuse reporting app.